Twitter for PE Teachers

Twitter is without a doubt the best resource I currently have access to. It provides me with opportunities to interact with teachers from all over the world, sharing ideas and resources. However on a number of occasions I have had those who are new to Twitter tell me they are not quite sure how to make the most of this powerful tool. With this in mind I thought I would record the initial setup of my new Twitter account @ThePEGeekApps. Check it out below!!

 

The creation of my new twitter also coincides with the launch of my new free iPhone/iPad app called “The PE Geek“. The app is a mobile version of this blog containing YouTube videos, social media links as well as the future home for a complete list of must follow PE Teachers from around the world.

Top ‘Apps’ for PE Teachers – Part 9

TrainingLoad

Another incredible app by Dr Grant Abt the guy behind TimeMotion and PLATO Sport. This app allows users to easily calculate a training sessions overall intensity or load. It does this by allowing the user to enter their resting heart rate, average heart rate during the session a long with the session duration and RPE (rate of perceived exertion). The app will be extremely useful in senior Phys Ed classes when students are developing and completing their own training programs. Will allow my students to see how modifying duration and other variables effects overload/tapering of a program. (See Pic Right)

Nexercise

This rewards based app allows users to earn points for the exercise they complete. Users can earn badges, take up exercise challenges all  within a socia networking style environment. The device tracks users activity using both the accelerometer and GPS, ensuring that points actually need to be earned. A useful tool to look at motivational strategies and objective methods of measuring physical activity.

Jog.fm

Recently discovered this app which matches the speed of your running/walking with songs in your music library. It does this by scanning your music library to determine the BPM of your songs, it then picks a song that matches the speed you are moving. Run faster and you can expect an up tempo song to get you moving, slow down and it will match something that suits. Brilliant.

RipDeck

An interesting exercise app shared by mrbridge204 on twitter that uses the deck of playing cards to generate workouts. Has the capacity to track your training history, providing an opportunity to learn about the development of training programs/training principles.

60beart Heart Rate

By compiling this app with additional hardware you can use it to track your heart rate variability during exercise. I particularly like how the app breaks your workload up into intensities and then tracks how long you spend within this intensities. Great for discussing energy system usage, fatigue and recovery. (See Pic Right)

racquetTune

Use this amazing app to help you ensure that your tennis racquet is set to the appropriate tension. Simply place your device on the ground , hold the tennis racquet above the device and tap the strings with a screwdriver. The tension reading will be displayed for your use.  You can also track the bounce of a tennis ball to determine if it fits within the acceptable level of 53 – 57% of its drop height. Check out the demo video here. In a senior class, this app could be used to teach students about the coefficient of restitution and other biomechanics principles.

Isometrics

A simple app useful for teaching students about the different types of muscle contractions. The app contains exercises that can be performed in static classroom environments free of any required equipment. As the name suggests all of the exercises use isometric contractions, which are those that occur when a force is developed but the muscle length doesn’t change.

Check out the other top app lists here – Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4Part 5 – Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8 - or grab the PE Apps app for a great one stop collection of the best PE apps.

Top ‘Apps’ for PE Teachers – Part 8

Cardiograph

Cardiograph is a super high quality app that tracks your heart rate via your devices camera. The best feature about this app is the capacity to create multiple profiles, making it perfect for a class full of students. Also if your running iOS 5 and using iCloud then all of your measurements will be synced to all of your devices instantly. A must have app. Also available for android

Workout Trainer

An awesome app that puts a personal trainer in your pocket. Contains 1000s of individualised training programs based on your level. Pair it with an Apple TV  unit (see pic to left) to share the trainer with your entire class.

Easy Assessment

The app all Teachers should have for ensuring that they are gathering evidence behind their judgements of students skill levels. Simply use the app to develop simple slide rubrics and then capture video and images of students performing skills to assist with you evaluation. All results can then be emailed or synced with the videos/images to a dropbox account. Check out the demo of it in action here. Also coming soon to android.

GymPact

GymPact is a groovy app that allows users to make a pledge about how often they want to exercise and the penalty they are prepared to be pay if they fail to meet their goal. The user then “checks in” to the gym on arrival and the app goes to work tracking the users location for to ensure they stay at the gym. If the user meets their goals for the week, they can earn cash rewards, otherwise if they don’t meet their goals their credit card is debited based on the pledge they made at the beginning.

iCelsius

Turn your iPhone/iPad/iPod into a digital thermometer with this app and a set of probes. The works between a range of  -30c  to 150c. This would prove to be a useful addition when studying how body temperature rises when exercise commences, which can then lead to discussions about energy metabolism and recovery strategies.

Exergaming finally hits the iPhone/iPad with these cool games that uses head tracking by the devices front facing camera to control the action on your screen. Used in conjunction with an exercise bike/elliptical/treadmill the basic premise is that the faster you move, the greater movements of your machine which the app tracks and therefore the faster your move the action in the game. Heaps of fun. Check out the promo video here

Sports Injury Clinic

A great little app with over 100 sports injuries along with treatment. Perfect for studying sports rehab and injury prevention subject areas.

Check out the other top app lists here – Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4Part 5 – Part 6 - Part 7 or grab the PE Apps app for a great one stop collection of the best PE apps.

Android Apps in PE

In recent months I have taken an interest in Android devices and as a result have purchased an Android phone strictly for development purposes and for testing apps. Considering that over 3.7 million Android devices were activated over the Xmas weekend, Android is clearly the mobile operating system with the greatest market share. With this in mind I thought I would share my top apps for Android. 

SportsTracker Pro

This app has got to be the best tracking app I have ever come across. It not only allows the user to track their speed, distance, time, altitude etc via the GPS, but with additional hardware you can track your heart and breathing rates as well as your skin temperature. The best thing about this is the fact that a performer can be tracked live opening up a world of possibilities in the classroom.

Sports Rules

Developed with PE Teachers in mind this app contains the essential rules of 18 popular sports for swift reference. More sports will be added in time making this app the one stop shop for teachers prior to introducing a new sport.

Multi Reps

A great little app that guides you through a training program in pursuit of your ultimate goal. Users can pick either push-ups, situps, dips, squats, pull-ups or enter their own exercises. A great addition to circuit training and teaching students about concepts such as fixed load, individual load etc.

Endomondo Sports Tracker

Another sports tracking app that integrates well with social networks allowing you to challenge friends. Available in both free and pro versions.

Instant Heart Rate

From Azumio inc the makers of the best heart rate apps, comes this fantastic one which uses the devices camera to track heart rate. Works best in well lit areas or with devices that have a flash. Tracks the tiny colour changes that occur as a result of capillary refill.

Beep Test

Conduct the classic Multistage Fitness Test with your Android device. The app can keep track of multiple runners and also predict a V02 max on completion.

Sparticus Workout

The workout made famous by the movie 300 is now available as an app. A great app to assist with teaching around training and physiological responses to exercise (hypertrophy etc) See the demo here

Accupedo- Pro Pedometer

A superb pedometer app that employs a powerful algorithm to count the steps you take ignoring any movement that isn’t walking based. A great app to discuss the behavioural factors that effect physical activity. Teachers could use it to have students compare and contrast how your place of residence and workplace effect your activity throughout the day.

Workout Trainer

A really high quality workout app that guides your through workouts with audio and video cues. A great app to discuss how a training program should be developed and implemented.

Ease into 5K

The famous app that guides the hardiest couch potato to a complete 5km run. Users can then step up to the next level by completing the Ease into 10k app.

So there are some of the apps that I’m currently playing with and finding useful. However being a relative newbie to the world of Android apps, I would love to hear what others consider their best apps. Leave a comment below and I will be sure to include them in next blog post and the soon to be released “PE Apps” App – Android version.

It’s Now Possible – eBook

Last year I discovered a truly magnificent website that allows anyone to publish there own books, which I put to good use last year to create “100+ Ways to Use Technology in Physical Education. So with almost a year since the last release, I thought now would be a good time to put out a second eBook of a similar style.

The Book which is titled “It’s Now Possible – Emerging Technologies & Physical Education‘, discusses a variety of cool tools and ways to integrate tech into the PE classroom. Chapters from the eBook are 1500 words each, different to articles from the blog and are identified below;

  1. Why Use Technology in Physical Education
  2. Using Social Networking to Get Kids Active and Healthy
  3. Measuring Fitness & Physical Activity
  4. Collecting Data from the Field
  5. Reclaiming Physical Activity Time
  6. Video Games in Physical Education
  7. Cell Phones in Physical Education
  8. GPS in Physical Education
  9. Digital Video in Physical Education
  10. Apps to Get You Moving – Part i, Part ii & Part iii

Grab it at the iTunes store here

Grab it on Lulu here (use the code LULUBOOKAU305 when purchasing to grab a 25% discount)

Grab it for Kindle here

Grab it for Nook here

Apple TV In PE

Firstly I must say that I love my new Apple TV unit. The ability to search, purchase and play movies and tv shows instantly through my television is simply outstanding. To top it off I have been literally blown over by the ability to listen to all of my personal music collection via iCloud and iTunes Match. However the best feature is one that has tremendous application within the classroom;

iPad 2/iPhone 4s Complete Mirroring

By simply tapping the “AirPlay” button on a supported iOS 5 device, users can mirror exactly what is on their screen to the TV wirelessly. This means that as you use an app or show a video , it will be wirelessly beamed to the TV. Perfect.

With a setup like this the following becomes possible;

1) Use the Nike Training Club or Workout Trainer app to provide your class with your very own personal trainer. Given the mirroring is replicated in HD quality, the display can be much larger meaning that you don’t need to crowd around a small iPad screen for demonstrations.

2) Conduct live video analysis using apps like Coaches Eye or SportsCam. Where the teacher and students can engage in conversation surrounding performance.

3) Utilise an app like Instant Heart Rate or Vital Signs to provide students with opportunities to discuss physiological responses to exercise

4)Gather and display performance data using apps like PLATOSPORT, TimeMotion or Easy Tag

5) Create a nice visual display during fitness tests like the Bleep or YoYo Test. As athletes are running they can glance to see metrics like metres covered or levels achieved.

6) Use a workout Timer app like “Nike Boom” to help display info about sets, reps and other information during circuit training.

7)Easily showcase elite footage from YouTube or other online sources

8) Have students take pictures with school devices which share the same Apple ID as the Apple TV Unit. These pictures will then be instantly viewable via the Photostream thanks to iCloud. Alternatively pictures can be shared to a Flickr accounts and accessed directly from Apple TV which supports Flickr.

The list of possibilities goes on…..Its also worth mentioning that older iPhone and iPad units can still complete mirroring of simply videos and pictures. However won’t be able to mirror apps.

All of this for about US $120. Bargain